August 9, 2008 / 12:28 PM / 11 years ago

Georgia accuses Russia of ethnic cleansing

MOSCOW, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Georgia’s National Security Council accused Russian troops on Saturday of conducting"ethnic cleansing" in separatist South Ossetia, saying pulling out Georgian forces from the region would lead to more violence.

Asked whether Georgia had information that Russian forces were involved in ethnic cleansing, Kakha Lomaia, the National Security Council secretary, told a conference call:

"No doubt about that. Villages that fell under Russian invasion, those villages are being cleaned out. ... Pulling out our troops would lead to more ethnic cleansing by Russian troops."

Earlier in the day, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused Georgian forces of conducting ethnic cleansing. Both sides have denied each other’s accusations as the fighting continued. (Writing by Maria Golovnina)

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